Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Roller Girl

That's the best title I could come up with and I'm going to pretend that she wasn't a porn star.

Last weekend, Syd was invited to a Princess Roller Skating Party, which was basically the most awesome thing ever. It was like tiny roller derby. Syd loved it, and the rink had little locked-wheel skates for Averson. I'm much more of a rollerblade girl, but I have secret dreams of joining a derby team so I'm all over trying to figure out how to skate on four wheels.

Coincidentally, the Bigs' school also had a fundraising night at the same roller rink tonight. So twice this week we've been roller skating. It's 1972 up in here. It was just as much fun with the boys! Eli actually hung out with friends (he often regales us with stories of how everyone hates him, so nice to see that's not true). He also did a couple laps holding a girl's hand. OMG. He got a lesson in gentlemanly behavior when we got home.

Averson was a beast because we got rid of her nap after realizing that she was lying in bed for an hour singing to herself, so now she's totally heinous between 5:30 and 6:30 until we start bedtime. So that was fun. But she also let go of the walker to hold my hand during Friend Skate. Kind of like her a lot. 

C and I only fell once each. I was avoiding taking Syd out and landed smack on my ass (and phone, ouch). I missed C's, but I'm assuming he tripped over air. Poor guy is such an athlete, but strap some wheels on his feet and he's totally out of his element. He tried though. And I think it didn't-suck enough that I may actually get them all to go back there. Wholesome family fun FTW! They also have nachos. Nachos are the best

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Creative Parenting

Eli has been exploring a lot of the music on Amazon Prime on his kindle. He's got incredibly eclectic tastes, unless you know that most of his choices have at some point been used as background music in some WWE event. But he's obsessed with Fallout Boy, loves Katy Perry, and also listens to Devil Went Down to Georgia (singing along) pretty regularly. A few weeks ago we realized that 1) he had been downloading explicit lyrics and 2) was "unconsciously" singing said lyrics pretty regularly. It's a loophole in our "grown-up words" rule. Also, I blame C, who has a Sir Mix-A-Lot poster featuring a naked woman and an anaconda hanging on our bedroom wall (choose your battles, right?) So we made a rule that he could download songs, but no explicit lyrics.

Fast forward to this week. Eli is doing something, probably pushups, and starts singing "It's another way to call a cat a kitten." For those of you not fully immersed in 90s hip-hop culture, the lyric is from Naughty by Nature's "OPP." C stops Eli and says, "I keep telling you not to sing that! It's not appropriate!" And Logic Boy looks back at him and says, "But why?!"

I should probably not parent at the end of a long weekend. Or perhaps I need more warning to the fact that my son has been singing OPP in public. But the words flew before I could catch them. "Eli! That song is about VAGINAS! Do you mean to be singing about VAGINAS? Because if you want to talk about VAGINAS then I will help you research VAGINAS and then you can talk about VAGINAS all that you want. But you cannot sing about VAGINAS if you know nothing about VAGINAS. Would you like me to help you look up information on VAGINAS?" 

This kid was born in Portland and has been raised in a very body-accepting house, but both he and his dad would have done just about anything to make me stop saying "Vagina." It was a beautiful moment, and I haven't heard that damn song since.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sometimes mania's a good thing

It was a really rough week and I was looking forward to this weekend, where, due to Eli straining his neck and therefore opting out of the wrestling tournament, we had absolutely no plans. After an anticlimactic Saturday where I didn't accomplish much of anything, I invited some friends over for dinner on Sunday. My motivation was twofold. One, we haven't seen them lately and they're our family BFF's. We missed them. Two, if I invited people over I would be forced to clean the house. So I woke up, drank a pot of coffee, popped a B12, and five hours later I had the kids' rooms AND the playroom cleaned, organized, and in some cases, disinfected. I was ruthless and we dumped about 7 bags of garbage/non-joy-producing crap. The result is that there is a place for everything and everything in it's place. My soul is happy.

Dinner was a blast. There were eight kids between 2 and 9 running amok while the adults drank and told stories and shot the shit. When they left everyone made the obligatory "sorry we trashed your house!" apologies (probably spawned by my "Look how pretty!" tour when they got here). But you guys! It took us less than 15 minutes to put it all back together. That includes scraping playdough from the walls. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. I woke up this morning absolutely giddy.

I was texting with a friend the other day about how we relax and refresh, and we were commiserating on our lack of ability to laze. I HATE to be lazy, unless I'm reading a really good book. I despise getting to the end of the day and accomplishing nothing and I never feel rejuvinated by it. On the other hand, let me spend half a day surrounded by chaos only to be able to create order out of it and I'm a whole new person. I'm calling it "active relaxation." Not sure if that's a thing, but I'm totally owning it.

Seriously. Life changing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I was really hoping to win the Powerball

So much so that we bought a ticket and actually checked the numbers.

OMG. I'm so frustrated. After three days of driving an hour + each way to attend a PAINFUL training where the trainer was new and most of the class was new and my coworkers and I spent most of our time trying to subtly correct "the expert" I got a call today (in the middle of the "no distractions allowed!") training saying that I was being pulled back into my institution. So I wasted the last three days of my life, pissed off a bunch of people at the headquarters by taking up a seat in this high-demand training, and then bailing, and spent approximately 8 hours in the stupid car to do it. And now tomorrow I have to be back at work, despite a planned power outage. I asked my boss what I should do with no electricity and he said, "There should be some light, and maybe you'll have power on your laptop?" UGH.

I try to be both realistic and optimistic. I understand that every job has its pros and cons and that sometimes work isn't all that fun. I also have grown accustomed to eating and sleeping in a house and occasionally buying frivolous things. But also, this type of thing happens ALL THE TIME. And I'm honestly getting pretty frustrated with it. It's such a quandary because my commute right now is awesome and that's been such a life changer. Any other prison would be a huge change in travel time. On the other hand, I can't help but think that perhaps I would be happier somewhere else and that would compensate for the lost time.

Blech. To make up for it, tonight I'm breaking my no dairy/grain/processed sugar rule to have a bowl of delicious delicious gelato. Did I mention it's delicious? If I'm feeling super crazy I might even bust out my adult coloring book!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Trying to post more regularly

I always regret not posting more, but then I also feel like I don't have a lot going on that's "postable." So then I don't post and it becomes a vicious cycle. SO, I'm going to post every so often just because. It may be boring drivel but it will be on the internet, dammit!

I went to a birthday party today where the moms took over the coloring table. Now I want to throw a party just to have an adult coloring table. It was so lovely and the moms actually talked to each other and I didn't leave the party having consumed an ungodly number of Valentine candy corn and chips and guacamole. AND, no moms screaming at their kids. Seriously. Let's make this a thing.

Yesterday Eli had his first wrestling match and got fourth place! Out of more than four kids! He won his first match by pin, and lost to the overall champion in overtime (right?, is that the right word?) I'm so proud of him, but also a bit surprised because he jacks around A LOT during practices. C said his coaches were surprised too so I'm guessing they had the same expectations. But now he's got the bug. I've heard that wrestling matches are heinous because they're all day and your kid competes for all of two seconds, but I like this sport for him. And maybe he'll stop trying to body slam his sisters and pick me up.

I'm back to teaching tomorrow after a few months off. I'm sort of nervous about going back to the long days. On the other hand, we have missed the extra income something fierce. Hopefully we can get a little caught back up. Or I can spend more money at Target. Either way... I'm also spending the next two weeks at a training that's a good commute away. I was a super bitch last week after being on vacation. Two weeks of boring training an hour+ away should make me super friendly and charming. But I get to wear jeans. So yay!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The grass is greener (aka when your car is smoking you get to wear jeans to work)

This morning I got to work and promptly realized that I'd forgotten my badge at home. So I called C to make sure it was there, then I called in late, got back in my car and headed home. Once I got there, I realized that I would be able to take the kids to school, sparing C from having to get up, get the baby dressed, and head out in the rain. Yay! Win win win!

But. Once I dropped the kids off I noticed that my defroster wasn't working. And oh hey? Is that fog or steam coming from the hood. Oh. Definitely smoke. Yep. Definitely smoke. I weighed the options of limping the car home or walking a mile, in the rain, in my heels and decided to risk it. Luckily I made it!

Rather than do the one car shuffle (C drops me off, I work for all of three hours, then he picks up the kids, then picks me up) I decided to work from home. As you can imagine, there aren't a lot of "work from home" options in the prison system. But I have been SO PRODUCTIVE. I've literally done about two days worth of work before lunch time. And I'm wearing JEANS. And Avery's watching Team Umizoomi on the couch next to me.

So my car was smoking and it's been the best day of the week :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Work hard play hard

After we got back from the coast, I realized that I only had a few precious days of vacation left. One of our bucket list items has been the Jelly Belly factory, but we're never all free, and up for a day trip, on a day it's open. So off we went! 
They LOVED it! We had the big variety box for Christmas, and apparently Eli can now identify at least 50 flavors by sight. It's a bit Rainman-ish. We learned how the beans are made and how Ronald Reagan made Jelly Bellys famous. True story. Then we ate bean shaped cheeseburgers and headed home.

I finished out the week by finally painting our hallway (Divine White, and it's heavenly) and getting my haircut. I didn't have anything in mind so I told the lady, "I'm not super attached to it, so I'll trust your judgement. Do whatever will look best!"
 I basically look like Dora now. I'm giving it a few days to see if it gets any better...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mission Redemption

In order to redeem the week of my vacation that was spent in ToxicLand, we decided to take the kids for a quick mini-trip to the coast. We had Christmas money to spend and a membership to the aquarium, and no where to be for three days. We had SO MUCH FUN. Also, we stayed at a Motel 6 and it did not suck.

Calico Critters are still a hit *squeee!*

We took a behind-the-scenes tour at the aquarium and it was so cool. The kids got to feed fish, got a private touch pool demonstration, and learned about sea otter conservation. We're big on sea otters. 

Averson as an otter keeper. 

Steampunk dioramas are a huge hit

So grateful we did the tour because the aquarium was horribly, claustrophically crowded and after the tour we felt justified calling it a day and getting the hell out of there. 

We also hit up this huge, awesome playground that we never have time for on our day trips and spent a good half of an afternoon running amok. I'm so appreciative of playground designers that are safety minded and have a single entrance point. It means that I can usually sit somewhere near the kids and let my kids run wild. Emphasis on sit. 

Conveyor belt slide. Why is this not everywhere?

Motel 6 Cuisine. Klassy!

This makes my heart happy. I'm not sure how much longer we can get away with one room, but I hope it's a little while longer.
Our final stop was a tourist trap that EVERYONE has a bumper sticker from. I didn't realize you needed to buy tickets in advance, so we got to hang out in the middle of BFE nowhere for hours on the waitlist. Lucky for me, the guy in line in front of me was an a-hole and I wasn't, so we did manage to get tickets eventually. 

Mysterious! Also maybe the most abusive thing I've done to my children, snarling at them to stand in the weird, disorienting, leaning cabin for JUST ONE SECOND so I could take this lovely picture. Notice the beautiful scream on A's face? 


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 I have a couple more adventures to catch up on, including my New Year plans. But I think it's weird to post more than one blog in a day, so I'll just seem really busy for the next few days. Stay tuned! There's candy and a questionable haircut!